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Standard Deck Tech: Paradox Lost Box - Stuttgart Regional

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Check out Kristian Hodas' deck, fourth place at the Stuttgart Regional in Germany! Its strategy with the Lost Zone mechanic was innovative and used two attackers from the Paradox Rift set: Roaring Moon ex and Iron Hands ex.

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Hello to all. I am Rodrigo, bringing news about Pokémon TCG.

At the Stuttgart Regional, which took place on December 9th, 2023 in Germany, there was a very exotic deck with the Lost Box structure and two unusual attackers for this archetype: Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70, from the recent set, Scarlet/Violet: Paradox Rift. Each of them has unique attacks, and the creativity of this list ended up taking Kristian Hodas to 4th place in this tournament.

Let's analyze how this deck worked at that tournament.


Lost Box Paradox: Paradoxical Eccentricity


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Deck Strategy

To understand why Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70 are in this deck, we need to understand the structure of Lost Box decks.

Every Lost Box deck needs to use Mirage Gate LOR 163 to charge your Pokémon, which are usually from the Giratina VSTAR LOR 212 evolution line, for instance, which demands Psychic and Grass energies. This energy becomes active as soon as there are seven or more cards in the Lost Zone, and allows you to search for two different-kind basic energies in your deck and attach them to your Pokémon however you like. This strategy is similar to Lost Zone decks that use Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154.

Now that we all understand this, let's see this deck's attackers.

Main Pokémon

Iron Hands ex: The Greedy Attacker

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Its attacks are:

- The first one deals 160 damage.

- The second (the most important one) deals 120 damage, and, if this damage knocks out a Pokémon, you'll draw one extra card.

By using its first attack, with Mirage Gate LOR 163, you'll be able to attack metagame Pokémon that are weak to the Electric type (doubling the damage output from 160 to 320), such as, for instance:

1) Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR ASR 208.

2) Lugia VSTAR SIT 211.

3) Greninja VUnion.

In Blastoise ex sv3pt5 9's case, just attack with Iron Hands ex sv4 70 using Supereffective Glasses ASR 152 to triple the damage. The damage will increase from 160 to 480, which is more than enough to take it down.

The second attack, Amp You Very Much (L)(C)(C)(C), which deals 120 base damage, can reach up to 360 damage with Supereffective Glasses ASR 152, taking down precisely these four Pokémon: Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR ASR 208, Lugia VSTAR SIT 211, and Blastoise ex sv3pt5 9. Like so, you'll draw three Prize Cards, and, against Greninja VUnion, will draw four Prize Cards!

Roaring Moon ex: The Roar of Death

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This Pokémon also has two incredible attacks:

- The first one "instant K.O.s" something, that is, it is an automatic knockout, but it has the downside of placing 20 damage counters on this Pokémon (which will take 200 damage.)

- Its second attack deals 100 damage, but, if there is a stadium in play, it will deal an extra 120 damage and will also discard that stadium in play.

Usually, you'll use the second attack to take down stadiums that disrupt your setup, such as Pokémon League Headquarters sv3 192, which increases the cost of your basic Pokémon in play by one extra colorless energy. Most Lost Box decks use basic Pokémon, so this would significantly disrupt your energy setup.

We use, usually, at least 3 energies to activate each effect and attack, and stadiums like this increase their cost to 4 energies. This deck has 10 energies, and all of them are extremely necessary, both for Roaring Moon and its companion, Iron Hands - which is the one that asks for more energies.


Besides removing Pokémon League Headquarters sv3 192, there are other stadiums that are potential threats, such as Collapsed Stadium BRS 137, which reduces the size of your bench. There's also Path to the Peak CRE 148, which disrupts your Rule Box Pokémon, such as Raikou V BRS 48 and Galarian Moltres V CRE 97, and your recursive Pokémon, Radiant Greninja ASR 46.

Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 can also take down the format's Psychic Pokémon, such as:

1) Gardevoir Box, which usually plays alongside Gardevoir ex sv1 86 itself and Zacian V CEL 16.

2) Mew VMAX FST 114.

Against Pokémon that are bigger threats, depending on the game state, you can resort to the first attack, Frenzied Gouging. Ideally, you'll attack "ultra rare" Pokémon, which offer two Prize Cards and, of course, if there is a vulnerable VMax or VUnion Pokémon, don't hesitate to use this attack!

Galarian Moltres V: The Alternative Darkness Attacker

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Besides recycling basic Darkness energies from the discard pile with its ability (which helps you attach another energy on that same turn on another Pokémon), its attack deals 190 damage, considering you'll use Mirage Gate LOR 163. Applying weakness to the Psychic Pokémon (the same listed above with Roaring Moon ex sv4 124), this amount of damage is more than enough to take them down because it totals 380 damage, even if the downside is that this Pokémon will take 30 damage.

Raikou V: The Alternative Electric Attacker

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This Pokémon is useful as a fast practical attacker against Pokémon that are weak against this archetype, mentioned in the section discussing its type-companion, Iron Hands ex sv4 70.

The format always tends to fill the bench to have a full setup, and we'll also go along with this trend because we use Comfey LOR 79. Like so, we'll use its abilities as fast as possible to activate the Lost Zone effects, easily guaranteeing 220 damage which becomes 440 damage when we apply weaknesses.

Additionally, its ability brings more "draw power", which is always welcome.

Tropius: Attacker to Hit Charizard ex Terastal Head On

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What interests us is its first attack, Rally Back, which deals 30 damage plus 90 damage if one of your Pokémon was knocked out on the previous turn.

You're probably thinking, "well, considering Charizard ex sv3 125 is weak to the Grass archetype because it is a Darkness Pokémon, this is quite useful. But, how do I reach 330 damage if, after applying the weakness, the damage only goes from 120 to 240?"

The answer to this is quite simple: Supereffective Glasses ASR 152.

Its effect, as described, triples the weakness debuff of the opponents that are dealt damage by the Pokémon that has this tool equipped, so, 120 will become 360 damage, destroying Charizard ex sv3 125!

Minior: The Attacker to Fight "Stall" Decks

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For those who don't know what is "stall": stall decks are Control decks that prevent opponents from moving their Pokémon, locking down enemy Pokémon's mobility by increasing their original retreat cost. This forces them to use items like Switch sv1 194, Switch Cart ASR 154 or Escape Rope BST 125 to retreat their Pokémon.


In the last regional tournaments, we had more decks using the underestimated Snorlax PGO 55, and it ended up becoming popular ever since the Gdańsk regional (in Poland), in which Łukasz Mazurkiewicz won using this deck (you can look up this player's list by clicking here.link outside website). Many players in that tournament used variations of this type, and, with that in mind, Kristian Hodas knew that he could face this situation, and added Minior sv4 99 to this deck.

Its attack is quite simple: for one colorless energy (C), it deals damage that is equal to 20 times the retreat cost of the opponent's active Pokémon. Considering that Snorlax PGO 55 is a Pokémon whose retreat costs four energies, it would already take 80 damage. However, considering this Pokémon is weak to the Fighting type, it takes 160 damage this way, which knocks it down!

Additionally, Minior sv4 99's ability is quite useful, considering that, if it is on the bench, and you attach an energy from your hand to it, it can be promoted to the active position automatically. This means you won't need to spend energies to retreat your active Pokémon or waste cards like Switch sv1 194, which is excellent!

Cramorant: The Base Attacker for the Lost Box Archetype

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As its ability states: if there are at least 4 cards in the Lost Zone, its attacks won't have an energy cost.

Cramorant is a "single prize" attacker, so the Prize Cards race is favorable to you, and you'll also save energies to use on the Pokémon that really need them, like the stars of this deck: Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70.

Additionally, as this is a Water type Pokémon, it can knock out the main Fire Pokémon in the format, such as:

1) The Charmander and Charmeleon's evolution lines in the Obsidian Flames and Paradox Rift sets.

2) Radiant Charizard CRZ 20 itself.

3) Even Entei V BRS 22, of course, using Supereffective Glasses ASR 152. Without this tool, the damage dealt after applying weakness reaches 220, which leaves Entei V with 10 HP, and this isn't enough to knock it down. With the glasses, it reaches 330 damage.

Recursive Pokémon

Card Draw Pokémon

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This Pokémon comes in with its ability, Concealed Cards, which allows you to discard an energy from your hand and draw two cards. It is an excellent "draw power" card for your setup.

Pokémon to Structure the Lost Box Strategy

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Its ability, Flower Selecting, is activated when this Pokémon is the active Pokémon. You'll look at the two top cards in your deck; one of them will go to the Lost Zone, and the other will go to your hand.

The goal is to get at least seven cards in the Lost Zone to use Mirage Gate LOR 163, one of the vital items in this deck.

It is the main recursive Pokémon to increase your damage output, and structure this deck in general.


Starting Hands

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In this simulation:

1) You'll place a Comfey LOR 79 as the active Pokémon and place another on the bench.

2) Starting the game, you'll play Battle VIP Pass FST 225 to search for a Radiant Greninja ASR 46 (and guarantee yourself some "draw power" in the game) and one Cramorant LOR 50 so you have a temporary attacker.

Next, you'll activate the ability of your first Comfey LOR 79 and hope to discard a Battle VIP Pass FST 225 to the Lost Zone (which will depend on your luck, unfortunately).

3) Next, attach the Darkness energy to your active Pokémon to retreat it, promote the second Comfey LOR 79 to the active position, and repeat the process of activating its ability.

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In this second simulation, we have the same modus operandi described above:

1) Place a Comfey LOR 79 as the active Pokémon and Cramorant LOR 50 on your bench.

2) On your turn, you'll play Battle VIP Pass FST 225 to look for a Radiant Greninja ASR 46 (and guarantee yourself some "draw power" in the game), or you can choose a Raikou V BRS 48 (and guarantee a faster attacker), or look for a Comfey LOR 79 (and speed up Cramorant LOR 50's actions).

3) If you choose Comfey LOR 79, use the basic Electric energy to retreat the active Pokémon and activate the ability effect again with the new Comfey LOR 79.

Trainer Cards

Supporter to Send Cards to the Lost Zone

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This Pokémon is more dynamic than Comfey LOR 79 because it looks at the top 5 cards in your deck, chooses 3 to stay in your hand and places 2 cards in the Lost Zone, fulfilling the requirements for both Cramorant LOR 50 to attack and for you to use Mirage Gate LOR 163 to set up energies on your Pokémon.

Supporter to Get Energies from the Discard Pile and Filter Cards in your Deck

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It is ideal to set up energies for any Pokémon in play because it already guarantees a basic energy from the discard pile to this Pokémon in question, saving you from using an energy from your hand on that turn. It also has the incredibly strong effect of looking for any card you want in your deck and placing it in your hand.

In the best-case scenario, for instance, with Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 on the board, besides "attaching" a Darkness energy from the discard pile on it, you'll also be able to look for a Mirage Gate LOR 163 (if you already have seven cards in the Lost Zone). You'll then be able to attack with this Pokémon, and attach your other energy on that turn on another Pokémon.

Or, against Charizard ex sv3 125, you can use Tropius EVS 6 with your Supporter Pokémon combo, attach the energy on that turn on your hand to use the first attack, and also filter any card you want in your deck.


"Draw Power" Supporter

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Supporter to "Catch" the Enemy Pokémon

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Items to Look for Pokémon

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Item to Recycle Pokémon and Energies

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Item to "Catch" the Enemy Pokémon

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Mobility Items

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These items are essential for the Comfey LOR 79 combos, and for you to send cards to the Lost Zone as fast as possible.

Item to Set Up Energies Faster

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This card is responsible for 80% of your deck's success, and depends on two other cards:

1) Comfey LOR 79 combos.

2) Colress's Experiment LOR 155.

If you have used these cards correctly, sending at least seven cards to the Lost Zone, your game will be set!


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- Forest Seal Stone SIT 156 was practically created to look for specific cards, if your "draw power" fails. Like so, you can retrieve an important card to follow up a specific play. The Pokémon that can equip it as a tool are Raikou V BRS 48 and Galarian Moltres V CRE 97.

- Supereffective Glasses ASR 152 is essential to triple your enemies' weaknesses, and it will guarantee you some well-needed knockouts.


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This stadium applies to both players: it allows both to, once per turn, look for any tool card in their decks.

This is essential to look for both Forest Seal Stone SIT 156 and Supereffective Glasses ASR 152.

Archetypes in the Format


- Against Charizard ex sv3 125 decks, because of Tropius EVS 6.

- Against Water decks, as the aforementioned Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR ASR 208, Blastoise ex sv3pt5 9 and Greninja VUnion, due to Raikou V BRS 48 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70.

- Against Lugia VSTAR SIT 211 decks because of its weakness to the Electric type, and, consequently, because of Raikou V BRS 48 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70.

- Against Psychic types, like Alakazam ex PR-SV 50 (without Mimikyu sv2 97), Gardevoir ex sv1 86, Zacian V CEL 16 and Mew VMAX FST 114.


- Lost Box decks that use Giratina VSTAR CRZ GG69.

- Control decks, such as Alakazam ex PR-SV 50, if your opponent locks down Iron Hands ex sv4 70, Raikou V BRS 48 and Galarian Moltres V CRE 97 with Mimikyu sv2 97 (the exception is Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 because its first attack goes through Mimikyu sv2 97's ability).

- Tsareena ex sv4 46 control decks that use Panic Mask LOR 165.

- Miraidon Box decks because of the massive straightforward damage and constant accelerators thanks to Flaaffy PR-SW SWSH122.

- Decks that use "sniper" and "spread" damage, considering we don't have neither Jirachi sv4 126 nor Manaphy BRS 41 to defend us.


Final Words

This deck is bold and a product of Kristian Hodas' incredible curiosity. It deserves to be recognized and explored by players that are interested in something strong that uses the Lost Box strategy/mechanic, or players that want to know this mechanic and use the new Paradox Rift cards. A negative side is that the main attacker cards, Roaring Moon ex sv4 124 and Iron Hands ex sv4 70, are a bit expensive for some players because of how popular they are and how some players have preferred using them in the most recent tournaments.

See you soon!